Photographing Charity Cycle Rides – lessons learned

Well it’s the 4th time I’ve had a go at photographing the participants in the London to Cambridge sponsored charity cycle ride. Each time I get a little closer to getting it right, a little more confident of getting a reasonable set of results.

So where have I got to?

  1. This may be a daytime event but I definitely want flash to get separation from a darker background
  2. If the aim is to get each participant there is not time to capture each and get AI servo lock, and definitely not time to focus so a big depth of field and manual pre-focus is crucial, especially as the riders are all over the road, which means
    • Strobe in high speed sync
    • or high power low ISO (recharging time is an issue)
    • This year I had a speed light with an external battery pack which both gave good recycle time and over 2000 discharges at 1/8 from the 12 AA cells, but in hindsight I could have done with being at 1/2 power (or 2 strobes at 1/4) but I’m not sure about charging being fast enough
  3. It may be worthwhile using a crop frame sensor and shorter (absolute) focal length lens to improve the effective depth of field for a given composition
  4. Get the other stuff right then shoot medium JPEG, there are several thousand riders, one really does not want 100G of raw to process
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